Come and lie with me and love me,
Touch me with your hands a little,
Kiss me, as you lean above me,
With your cold sadistic kisses;
Wind your hair close, close around me,
Pain might dissipate this blankness.
Hurt me even, even wound me,
I have need of love that stings.
Come and lie with me and love me,
So that I may laugh at things.

From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain. 

I spent the Christmas after your death hunched
above a puzzle; it had a thousand pieces,

the unmatched angles of a forest caught by early snow,
bright yellow leaves still clinging to their branches.

The photograph on the box was so clear
I could see each crack of rock, each leaf hung

above the brink of winter. The pieces lay scattered
about my dining room, a mess of white and yellow

waiting for me to set it right, so many thousands
of leaves, so much crumbling. Who could count?

Even a sister, even a wife of ten years
one day gets out of bed and puts on red

either because it’s Christmastime again
or because the black dresses sit unwashed in the laundry

and there’s nothing left to wear. I told myself
the leaves weren’t worth it. I told myself you were just

another falling. I did the laundry every day.
I never solved the puzzle.

Copyright © 2016 by Holly Karapetkova. This poem appeared in Towline (Cloudbank Books, 2016). Used with permission of the author.